Type Comic
Date 1940-03

Flash Comics #3

Flash Comics #3 (1940-03)

The Flash

Jay reads in the Town Cackle, a newspaper, that Joan's father, a former major in the army, and inventor of a new neutronic bombardment of uranium, faces trial for being a spy. Just then, Joan bursts in, looking for his help with the situation. Jay suits up, and, as the Flash, heads for the office of the Cackle. There, he overhears an editor handing out an assignment: to make sure Joan's father is found guilty. The reporter assigned this task catches a cab for the county jail, but the Flash intercepts him en route. He strips him of his outer garments, then leaves him atop the Empire State Building until he feels ready to explain why they're trying to frame Joan's father.

Next, the Flash heads for the county jail, where he visits Joan's father. The ex-major opines that the Cackle may be influenced by a foreign government, to whom it intends to turn over the secret of his method of neutronic bombardment. The frame job is intended to either exert pressure to make him talk, or to give the paper time to search through his things while he can't stop them, and find the plans that way. The Flash heads for Williams's home, to collect the plans for safe-keeping, but he finds that the newspaper's lackeys have beaten him there.

Flash returns to check on the man he left atop the Empire State Building, who he finds to be more willing to cooperate, since he's had a few minutes to reflect on the situation. The reporter confirms Williams's and Flash's suspicions, and Flash orders him to take him to the newspaper's publisher, who is behind all this, and introduce him as a 'cub' reporter. With this ruse, Flash is able to record confessions from both the newspaper's editor and its publisher, Berstoff, which he uses to get Williams out of jail.

Way to keep the secret, Williams.

Having cleared Williams, Flash rushes back to Berstoff, and keeps him busy until the police arrive for him--meanwhile persuading him that it'd be in his best interest to give a full confession.

I wonder if this story and Batman's spy story in Detective Comics #37 can be attributed to the war? There were spy stories before the war, too, of course, but to have these two so close together makes me suspect that real life was influencing the plot.

The Hawk-Man

Carter is flying about in the guise of Hawk-Man when he spots someone he knows, Dick Blendon, walking "as if dead", his arms extended before him and not responsive to Carter's words. Carter sees him safely in bed, and resolves to meet with him in the morning to find out what was the matter. Unfortunately, the newspaper brings bad news: his friend is dead (Now that is some swift reporting! And it's a front page headline, too.). Carter goes to pay his respects, and meets a girl, Una Cathay, who was apparently a close friend of Dick's. She says that they were working together on a theory when he died: a way for a man to live forever. Carter is skeptical, and anyway doesn't trust her--"she's too evil looking", he thinks.

Later, Hawk-Man visits the cemetery, to find that Dick's body is missing. He suspects Una of appropriating it for some twisted experiment, and visits Dick's father in the middle of the night to get her address. At her home, Una has Dick's body. What's more, she has revived him, and intends to drug him so as to force him to give up the secret of eternal life. Hawk-Man overhears her talking about this with an associate, and presents himself to them as a friend, also interested in this secret. He is not recognized as being Carter Hall, so they take him into their confidence.

However, this is all pretense. Una secretly ties one of her hairs about Hawk-Man's wrist; at midnight, she plans to burn him to death with a voodoo incantation. Fortunately, when he returns home, Shiera spots the hair just in time, tearing it from his wrist just as it begins to burn. Hawk-Man goes back out, after this, to free Dick. He reveals himself to Dick, who explains to him that he isn't really dead. Rather, Una has drugged him (and also others) to make him fall into a coma, so that she could take his 'corpse' from his grave without it being missed.

With Dick and the other kidnapped men freed, Hawk-Man has only to deal with Una and her co-conspirator, Count Torgoff. After a struggle, Torgoff falls out a window, to his death, and Una makes for her car. She is able to drive away, but a well-aimed knife thrown by Hawk-Man punctures a tire, sending the car careening into a tree. The collision leaves Una dead, with a broken neck, ensuring the safety of her former captives.